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Liga MX Femenil recap: 2020 Apertura, Week 1

After a long hiatus, Liga MX Femenil is back in full.

FC Juarez v Chivas - Liga MX Femenil Photo by Alejandro Rodriguez/Jam Media/Getty Images

It had been five months since the last Liga MX Femenil match was played. A lot had changed, in terms of rules and players moving, but ultimately the women of Liga MX Femenil are back on the pitch. There were some surprises during the week, but the best part of it was seeing how some of the new pieces fit together on teams and what teams will look like going forward.

FC Juárez 0, Guadalajara 4: Chivas seemed intent on staking their claim as being a title contender with a 4-0 drubbing of Juárez in the first match of the 2020 Apertura. A free kick from María Sánchez in the 15th minute hit off of the far post and then went in off of Juárez defender Melissa Sosa for an autogol. Four minutes later Michelle González would double the lead when a corner kick was headed on goal. Alondra Ubaldo made a great kick save on the header, but it fell to the feet of González for the tap-in. In the 34th, Alicia Cervantes would get her first when a great ball sprung her into open space and with three defenders closing in she hit a perfectly placed shot to beat Ubaldo. Cervantes got her second in the 49th minute when she caught Ubaldo going the wrong way on a cross from Norma Palafox and headed it in on the far post.

Cruz Azul 0, América 2: A good solid win for América against their Clásico Joven rivals. Jenn Muñoz put América up for good in the eighth minute when a poor clearance on a cross from Dorian Hernández fell to Muñoz on the left side of the box. She hit the ball with pace and goalkeeper Karla Morales didn’t stand a chance. Dani Espinosa got an insurance goal in the 86th when Dalia Molina made a run down the right and floated a cross in that Espinosa was able to go up and get, deflecting it over Morales and into the back of the net.

Atlas 4, Mazatlán FC 1: Not the start that Mazatlán had hoped for, getting crushed by Atlas 4-1. Mazatlán got the first goal of the game and the first in their post-Monarcas Morelia history when Casandra Montero was able to re-direct a free kick past two defenders and goalkeeper Ana Gaby Paz in the 39th minute. In stoppage time going into the half, Fabiola Ibarra leveled it when she nailed a penalty kick. Ibarra had a hand in Atlas’s second goal of the afternoon when in the 49th minute she made a run down the left side and hit a cross into the box that Alison González flicked back to Adriana “Boyi” Iturbide. Boyi’s shot was stopped by Mariana Zárraga, but the rebound went straight to Marcia García and she hit a hard shot past the prone goalkeeper to give Atlas the lead. In the 78th, Joana Robles was able to corral a blocked shot, drive across the goal mouth, and smash a left-footed shot into the back of the net. Isabella Amyx rounded out the scoring in the 85th minute of play, cementing Atlas’ 4-1 win.

Monterrey 3, Puebla F.C. 2: A surprisingly even game as Rayadas needed a late goal to get past Puebla. Desireé Monsiváis put the hosts on the board first when she got a header on a sky-high cross from Aylin Aviléz on the left side. Another Aviléz in stoppage time of the first half landed at the feet of Yamile Franco, and poor clearing attempts from the defense ultimately allowed Franco to get a shot off in traffic that 14 year old goalkeeper Harumi Cornejo didn’t see until it was too late. Puebla would make adjustments at the half however, and in the 49th minute a corner kick was headed onto goal. Alejandría Godínez made the initial stop, but the ball fell to the feet of Zoe Tapia and she was able to beat the prone goalkeeper to draw Puebla within one. Two minutes later off of another corner kick a clearance attempt by Godínez hit off of a teammate and went up into the air. Lupita Worbis was there to head the ball home to get Puebla level. Rayadas would get the win however in the 83rd minute when Valeria Valdez hit a ball in from the right flank. Rebeca Bernal headed it on to Christina Burkenroad, and her header went up and over Cornejo.

Club Atlético de San Luis 1, Gallos Blancos de Querétaro 0: A fairly even game that San Luis was a bit lucky to come out on top of. Despite being outshot sixteen to nine by Querétaro, the lone goal of the game came in the 56th minute when a long restart lead to a miscommunication between goalkeeper Diana García and Jazmín Enrigue. Estefania Izaguirre was there to grab the loose ball and knock it in for the game winner.

Toluca 1, Tigres UANL 2: Toluca must feel like points against a very tough opponent slipped away thanks to a late goal by Jackie Ovalle. The two teams were very evenly matched, and Tigres were perhaps a bit lucky to come away with the win. Stephany Mayor put Tigres up in the 31st when she converted a penalty. Toluca leveled in the 43rd when Nati Mauleon played a brilliant pass out to the left wing to Brenda Carvajal. Carvajal was able to fight off pressure from Karen Luna and nutmeg goalkeeper Ofelia Solís. The teams battled back and forth and just when it looked like it’d end in a tie Mayor made a great pass to a wide open Ovalle on the left flank. She hit a perfectly placed one-time shot that eked past a sprawling Sandra Lozano and went in off of the far post.

Pachuca 2, Necaxa 0: Pachuca’s offense was just more than Necaxa’s defense could handle, outshooting and outscoring Las Centellas. Fátima Arellano put Pachuca on the board in the tenth minute when she was played into space and hit a right footed shot that found its way past goalkeeper Montserrat González. Necaxa would hold Pachuca at bay (no easy task even with the absence of Viridiana Salazar) until just before the clock struck 90 when Diana Fierro played Berenica Muñoz through on a great ball. González came out to challenge her, but Muñoz dribbled around her and knocked the ball into the empty net for the insurance goal.

Club Tijuana 0, León 3: A poor showing by Tijuana as former Xolos striker Lucero Cuevas has a brace against her former team. Cuevas put the visitors on the board in the 36th minute when a great ball in split the defense and she fought off two defenders to hit a half-volley past Itzel González. Cuevas then made an outstanding play along the touchline in the 52nd, fighting off a defender and hitting a great cross to Brenda Viramontes on the far post. Viramontes had a wide open net to shoot at and didn’t miss. Cuevas then converted a penalty in the 84th to complete her revenge.

UNAM Pumas vs. Santos Laguna: This match was postponed until Wednesday, September 2 due to Santos having six players test positive for COVID-19.

Next week:

Thursday, August 20:

Cruz Azul (0W 0D 1L) vs. Atlas (1W 0D 0L) - 4:55 PM Eastern / 1:55 PM Pacific (TUDN)

Friday, August 21:

Gallos Blancos de Querétaro (0W 0D 1L) vs. FC Juárez (0W 0D 1L)

Saturday, August 22:

Mazatlán FC (0W 0D 1L) vs. Tigres UANL (1W 0D 0L)

UNAM Pumas (0W 0D 0L) vs. Toluca (0W 0D 1L) - 12:55 PM Eastern / 9:55 AM Pacific (TUDN)

Sunday, August 23:

Guadalajara (1W 0D 0L) vs. Necaxa (0W 0D 1L) 8:00 PM Eastern / 5:00 PM Pacific (CHIVASTV)

Puebla F.C. (0W 0D 1L) vs. Club Tijuana (0W 0D 1L)

Monday, August 24:

América (1W 0D 0L) vs. Club Atlético de San Luis (1W 0D 0L)

León (1W 0D 0L) vs. Pachuca (1W 0D 0L)

Wednesday, August 26:

Santos Laguna (0W 0D 0L) vs. Monterrey (1W 0D 0L)